All the hunting and cooking he did as a boy certainly helped lay the groundwork for Chef Anthony Gray's career path. As partner and executive chef for Stella's Restaurant Group in Greenville, his daily grind pivots around the careful curating of ingredients for Stella's Southern Bistro and Stella’s Southern Brasserie. He is key in the development of Stella's menu of inspired dishes, which features plenty of locally sourced products.
When it comes to planning the menu at Stella's, the seasons are in charge. This allows Gray to put South Carolina's freshest agricultural products in the spotlight. Every ingredient gets special attention according to his vision for the restaurant. His locavore aesthetic is especially reflected in foraged ingredients like mushrooms, ramps and greens he gathers from the great outdoors.
Born and raised in Georgia, Gray got a taste for Southern cooking at an early age. But it was his decision to seek formal training at Johnson & Wales in Charleston that set him firmly on the trajectory to chefdom.
While there, he had the good fortune of meeting South Carolina legend, Chef Frank Lee, who hired Gray to assist in the kitchen of Slightly North of Broad. Gray soaked up every bit of Lee's guidance and eventually was named sous chef of High Cotton, another iconic restaurant in the historic city. There he developed his expertise so impressively, he soon moved to the top of the class with executive chef positions at High Cotton in both Charleston and Greenville.
In 2011, he took the helm at Southern Art in Atlanta and was named one of the city's "Rising Star Chefs." But South Carolina beckoned him back. Gray returned to Greenville, where he and a few business colleagues opened Bacon Bros. in 2013.
In 2020, he became a partner at Stella's Restaurant Group, directing culinary operations and serving as executive chef at Stella’s Southern Bistro, Stella’s Southern Brasserie, and future concepts.